Roman Smirnov is an international artist who has performed in Russia, Estonia, Israel, Canada and much of Europe. He has participated in international festivals and musical projects in various musical styles, ranging from early baroque to modern music and jazz. One such project is a baroque ensemble established by Michael Meltzer, Vice-president of Academic Affairs in the Jerusalem Academy of Music & Dance.
Roman was born in Tallinn, Estonia. He first studied classical guitar in the Tallinn Music Conservatory with Tiit Peterson and in Moscow, Russia with J. Judin and A. Frauchi. He later moved to Israel and completed his BA degree at the Rubin Jerusalem Academy of Music with Professor Joseph Urshalmi. For his MA, Roman continued his studies in the Academy of Music in Kassel, Germany, with the renowned guitar virtuoso Wolfgang Lendle.
Since 1991 Roman has been a member of the Union of Composers in Estonia, where he has also performed recordings for TV and radio. While studying for his MA in Germany during the late 90s Roman was concertmaster for a chamber choir in Köln and performed in solo concerts. In 2000 he joined the Israeli ethnic jazz band “Shoom”, performing in several prestigious concert halls throughout Israel, such as the Barby Club in Tel Aviv among others. In this project he actively studied several kinds of music, such as Armenian, Turkish, Jewish and Flamenco.
Roman has transcribed and arranged a number of works by Scarlatti, Bach, Soler, Piazzolla, Hancock, and other composers from different periods and genres. He composes music for solo guitar as well as for ensembles.
Roman has lived and performed in Toronto since 2008. During this time he participated in Jazz festival in Hamilton. Roman created a duo with Chinese Pipa virtuoso Wendy-Wen Zhao where he arranged Chinese music for guitar. The duo had a number of successful performances: in Toronto Four Seasons Performing Art Center; Richmond Hill Center for Performing Arts, Stouffville Lebovic Center for Arts. He performed J. Rodrigo and F. Carulli concertos with Toronto Mandolin Orchestra in Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. Roman also works with classical opera singers soprano Lorena Di Lisi and tenor Gwyndaf Jones.
In 2016 Roman was awarded the Independent Music Award (IMA) in the instrumental song category for his single “Reflection 1”. In 2016 he was also the recipient of a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for the recording of an upcoming CD. He has released a CD with his original song arrangements for guitar and soprano in 2015.